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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The shocking discovery in the Florida Senate president's office



Somebody out there really doesn't like Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner.

But not only doesn't Gardiner mind, he thinks it's hilarious. In a tense state Capitol where laughter is in short supply these days, the Orlando Republican enjoys showing off his latest honor that he prominently displays on a wall of his spacious office.

The envelope arrived with a St. Petersburg postmark. Inside was a "certificate of upgrade from half-a---- to complete a------" for a multitude of reasons, including "your obnoxious attitude, complete asinine juvenile behavior and total dedication to personal gain ... You have become a legend in your own mind."

Politicians often get anonymous hate mail, some of it profane, and they usually toss it in the trash. Not Gardiner. He had it framed so he can show it to visitors. As Senate president, Gardiner welcomes an endless parade of visitors -- captains of industry, college presidents, political science students, lobbyists and many other politicians -- so plenty of people are going to see his potty-mouthed plaque.

"Sixteen years of service. Best thing I've ever gotten," said Gardiner, who will leave the Legislature next year due to term limits. "Nobody can ever accuse us of not keeping everything."

Gardiner's predecessor, former Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said he wished he'd experienced Gardiner's good fortune. "I'm jealous that nobody thought to send it to me," Gaetz said. "I'm a bigger a------ than Andy Gardiner."

[Last modified: Friday, October 16, 2015 10:46am]


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